View Full Version : Infected Podocarpus

February 5th, 2011, 04:26 PM
I did not see the "sick bay" so I posted this here/ move it needs to be.

Last week I noticed some shiny leaves on my Podocarpus which sits at the top of spiral plant stand. That should have gotten my attention, but being on the top, in the corner I let it pass. Then it got more and I felt the leaves, sticky, not good. Today I took it outside in the sun and found some dry dead leaves close to the drunk (this is a small tree) so I removed them and looked at the other leaves. I found the bug/or what every on the under side and top of the leaves. So I stated removing the leaves as I found the bugs. I realized very quick I was going to have a naked tree at the rate I was finding the bugs. So I smushed (is that a word or just the south?) the others...many...and sprayed the tree with Neem Oil mixture. Moved it from the sun room to a corner in a different room with good light.
Should I see if the neem oil will kill off whatever this is...or should I cut all the limbs back to the trunk to get rid of this?
And What is it? I know the picture is not good, got to close with my phone and no macro setting.


February 5th, 2011, 04:34 PM
You have Scale.

February 6th, 2011, 12:23 PM
No you don't have scale. Scale do not live on leaves.

You probably have aphids or spider mites, from the fuzzy pics.

You can do two things--take the plant outside, get a waterhose and let loose with a powerful directed spray UP into the foliage from underneath. Spray for a few minutes, get all the foliage....

Or you could get a pyrethrin aphid spray and use it. I have no idea how podocarpus reacts to Pyrethrin, but some trees don't like it--it will defoliate some species...

You also need to find a better spot for the plant inside (and move it outside for spring and summer) that's more humid with better air circulation.

Brian Van Fleet
February 6th, 2011, 12:51 PM
That sure looks like scale. This type of infestation is common on F. nerifolia and other juicy tropicals. While scale may prefer stems, I've seen plenty of them on leaves.

IF you can, pick them off individually with tweezers, daub the site with a Q-tip dipped in some rubbing alcohol, then treat the whole tree with an insecticide that targets sucking insects.

Definitely keep it away from your other tropicals...and the wife's houseplants!

February 6th, 2011, 02:03 PM
Thanks for the replies Men,
After seeing Klytus reply I looked for scale in one of my books, it did not look like this. It showed gray/white on the trunk. The next book showed a drawing picture that looked somewhat like this.
Rock, I don't think it is spider mites, and have never seen aphids, but this will be a learning experience as I will remember what ever this is once I find out. This tree stays outside till Nov and then back outside in the spring. And these were on the top of leave as much as under.
Brain, I figured I would get a better picture for you all to see and maybe have a better idea. Good thing, I could find only one "whatever" to take the picture of, so I got all but that one yesterday. But I am sure if not treated they will be back.

No one responded about the Neem Oil, so I assume it would not be the correct treatment?

February 6th, 2011, 02:17 PM
Squashing and wiping away the remains often works,get them when they are white to pale green as it does seem to interupt their fascinating life cycle

Brian Van Fleet
February 6th, 2011, 02:25 PM
Assuming it's scale...and it still looks like scale in the latest photo (a very good photo, too BTW), Neem oil labels list scale as one of the insects it controls. The lack of response may be because Neem oil is typically thought of as a dormant oil that is protective/preventative as opposed to an insecticide/pesticide. It's probably not the go-to chemical to kill insects, but over time, it will help the tree rid itself of pests.

February 6th, 2011, 02:38 PM
I think the worst i have seen it is under the stringy bark of Vines,giant dead blisters of them.

February 6th, 2011, 03:36 PM
I've had these on my willow leaf ficus and used insectcidal soap to get rid of them.


February 7th, 2011, 05:03 AM
I stand corrected. This is why I should never talk about tropicals, only real bonsai:eek::D:D:D:D

February 7th, 2011, 08:37 AM
Are you worried?

You gotta be hunting high and low for them.

February 7th, 2011, 08:54 AM
Not as worried as you Klytus, since I know what I'm looking for...

February 7th, 2011, 09:12 AM
I have a cold,no room for worry.

I seem to recall the little ones love to inhabit the midrib of the leaf.